Using Trade to Create a Global Experience

“[At Northeastern], you’re going to see yourself in others that you might not have before,” says Carmen Zelaya, a 2012 graduate of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities with a degree in International Affairs. “You can see their world and you can see their perspectives. It’s through them that you are able to expose yourself to connections and experiences at Northeastern.” 

With a worldly aura to her, Zelaya, hailing from Guatemala, is no stranger to international travel. Since graduation, she has become a member of Northeastern’s Young Global Leaders program, attended the university’s Global Leadership Summits, and embarked on a career rooted in globalism while expanding the visibility of Central American products across the globe.  

Utilizing the help of her fellow Young Global Leaders in 2012, Zelaya launched TradingPro, an international trading company focusing on supply chain relations between Central America and the rest of the world through investments from high-yielding funds for both conservative and risky investors. 

Even with all her professional success, Zelaya credits her Northeastern experience with giving her the tools to build an international trading company in the first place. Using what she learned through her International Affairs courses, she states that “because of Northeastern…[I] saw an opportunity to start connecting. Northeastern promotes a community of knowing what we’re doing and seeing each other every year…and [helps] us see the connectivity in the world.” 

Outside of the classroom, Zelaya took full advantage of Northeastern’s unique experiential learning atmosphere through her many co-op programs. From a co-op at the United Nations to one in Boston Mayor Thomas Menino’s office answering the hotline, Zelaya not only “built [her] backbone”, but gained working experience that transcended cultures and introduced her to community leadership. “Nowadays, at Northeastern, you can do a co-op in Dubai or Paris, and [it] exposes you…to the real world. We graduate from school and are not lost.”  

She emphasizes that she would not be in the position she is now if it weren’t for a personal rule she had while an undergraduate at Northeastern—one that she expresses all incoming Huskies should follow—say “yes” to everything. “You expose yourself to experience at Northeastern. Say ‘yes’ to everything that you’re invited to to get a student experience, and get the most out of Northeastern that’s possible.”  

You can contact Zelaya through her LinkedIn profile. You can learn more about TradingPro and WinVest by following TradingPro on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. 


When someone fails, it’s not because he or she falls, it’s because they didn’t get up.”

Carmen Zelaya, CSSH’12